Stay Relevant During an Industry Shift

February 24, 2013 at 7:00 AM

Many industries are shifting.  The definition of an industry shift is perhaps best understood by looking at a few examples.  Here are three:

  • Here is a New York Times article discussing how the trade show industry is getting flipped on its head. 
  • Here is a Fast Company article highlighting the tectonic shifts happening in Healthcare.
  • Here is a Financial Times article explaining how the telecom industry is changing more now than it ever has.

The CEO is responsible for keeping his company relevant during an industry shift.  But, many are asking:

                “How do we stay relevant during an industry shift?”

One area CEOs can focus on during this period of change is the sales and marketing functions.

Modernizing Sales and Marketing during an Industry Shift

Relevance is key to winning the attention of a new set of customers. The challenge many B2B sales and marketers face, however, is how to transition the legacy team to the new industry.  Enter the Talent Assessment.  

A talent assessment is a series of topical questions structured to match people with specific personalities or identities to certain industries.  For example, if you are in the print media business migrating to digital media you might need a different breed of sales person.  Talent assessments can range from all business to casual and CEOs like them because they provide objective feedback.   

Field an A player sales and marketing team with Talent Assessments

  • Use a talent assessment to enable the legacy team to identify their own interests, and match them to the needs of the changed industry.
  • Increase the likelihood of hiring in sales and marketing talent that is highly relevant to the shifted industry.
  • Benchmark an employee test results against the test results from the super stars inside companies who have already made it through the industry shift.

Examples: 

  • An enterprise software company’s industry segment was being disrupted by software-as-a-service competitors. This company used talent assessments and improved quota attainment from 46% to 78%.
  • A global media company’s industry segment was going through a shift.  The revenue model was moving from subscription derived revenue to 100% advertising derived revenue.  This company used talent assessments to determine which sales reps could make the move from selling subscription renewals to advertising space.

Want to see an example?

Job Talent Assessment Kit 2

This one was applied to an industry who was shifting from an indirect to a direct go-to-market model. Download this talent assessment example for an inside sales rep responsible for generating leads here.  Here is what you get:

  • A job trial scenario for the role of lead development rep
  • 5 telephone competencies being tested for in this job trial scenario
  • A definition for each competency
  • Guidelines for scoring each competency based on the candidates answers
  • A key to rank each competency, and total score, on a 0-2 scale
  • Scores for a real candidate who was put through the talent assessment
  • Notes from 5 judges who were involved in the talent assessment
  • A spreadsheet template to use immediately

Job Talent Assessment ScoreCard 1

There are certain events that cause a CEO to take a fresh look at the sales and marketing departments.  An industry shift is one of these events.  If you have recently been forced out of the status quo due to an industry shift, consider talent assessments.  It may help you answer the key question: “How do we stay relevant during an industry shift?”


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Topics: Talent Management, CEO, CEO Resources

Posted by Greg Alexander

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